Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Knox County Sheds Solway Greenwaste Facility for $2.0 Million Dollars

This morning, Phillips Auction (Knox County's governments auction company) auctioned off the Solway Green waste Facility. I showed up thinking that I was going to be simply witness Knox County sell a parcel of property in about 10 minutes, walk away and then blog about it. What I found was a small circular tent. What I realized rather quickly was that it appeared to be a Las Vegas style boxing match. You had on one side (in one corner) Brad Mayes, Lewis Cosby and Chuck Jensen. On the other side (in the other corner) were Mike Cohen, former PR guy for the previous County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and now the current PR flack for NRRT (Natural Resource Recovery Tennessee), NRRT's legal counsel David Draper and representatives on NRRT.

In the middle of the tent were citizens (neighbors to the facility) that had a desire to purchase the property.

The property was appraised at $1.19 million. Knox County under Mayor Mike Ragsdale spent over $5.0 million dollars on the land and infrastructure. The bidding began at $300,000.00 and proceeded upwards. Brad Mayes bid through $1.3 million. He looked around at the other bidders and didn't bid again. The bidding then narrowed between a nearby business and the representative of NRRT. At $1.95 million, the last holdout gave up when NRRT placed the winning bid of $2.0 million dollars.

So, as people talked about the reaction to a selling price of $2.0 million for a property appraised at $1.19 and Dwight Van de Vate, Knox County's Director of Engineering and Public Works celebrated a $2.0 million dollar price tag. I quickly heard talking about NRRT's legal counsel taking a photograph with his cellphone of Lewis Cosby, Chuck Jensen and Brad Mayes. I believe I was also captured in his photograph (due to my close proximity to Lewis Cosby).

At this point the news that needed to be recorded for this blogger had been achieved. It was time for me to walk to my car, get back to work and later in the day retire to my dark room with laptop and blog the activities, like a good blogger does.

If this were a boxing match, clearly NRRT had the resources to knock the little guy out. However, the only thing worse than a sore loser is an arrogant boisterous winner. Well, the results of that one went the other way.  

I commend Mayor Burchett for ridding Knox County of this hole in the ground where trees, pallets and other decomposing resources including our tax money rot. Thanks to the previous administration, we were already in a deep deep hole. Today, with Mayor Burchett's forward thinking. Our bath only cost us $3.0 million. Another year and it would have been more of our money wasted.

Let's now take that $2.0 million cash and build part of a new Carter Elementary School for the Carter community. Because a NEW Carter Elementary School will produce a heck of a lot more in results than a bunch of rotting trees.

The auction begins with Kenny Phillips as the Auctioneer (in the blue shirt), Brian Phillips on the far left, Howard Phillips between Brian & Kenny. Dave Gregory is on the far right.
About half of those attending were standing around the edge of the tent. The other half were seated in the chairs provided. 
The successful bidders begin negotiating as the purchase price approached $1.6 million.

After NRRTsuccessfully bid on the facility for $2.0 million dollars. The crowd began to leave and the chairs were stacked up in preparation to be hauled away.

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